My Home: Bella Bunce, film producer

This film producer's converted Oxfordshire barn is the ideal showcase for her collection of modern Italian furniture
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The Independent Online

Bella Bunce is a film producer and maker of short films and commercials. She is managing director of HRH Productions, which is based in London and her most well-known film to date is 'Euston Road', starring Paul Bettany.

We bought Manor Barn, in the little hamlet of Toot Bal-den, near Oxford in August 2003. My fiancé, Graham, was living in Oxford, and I was living in London - and we wanted to buy something together. We wanted something we could do up and also somewhere where we could get married, which we did in May 2004.

When we were searching for the right house, we'd look at the garden and say "would this be any good for the wedding reception?" - it had to have exactly the right garden. Manor Barn did and we had 250 people and were actually married there too; it was lovely.

When we bought the barn it was structurally sound, but it hadn't been finished. It had been a working barn until 1998 and Graham's father, who was a vet, had actually treated animals there.

It didn't have any bathrooms or a kitchen, and the walls were just plaster-board, so we got the main stuff done before the wedding, then got married and after that we had an interior designer in to help us finish it off. It had quite a few rooms and we wanted to do it properly.

The barn has a very open-plan layout. The main room is the large living room with the fireplace. Everything focuses around that fireplace, which also opens into the room above. We have made that space, which is galleried and under the eaves, into a TV room with huge television, surround sound and two large sofas.

When people come into the main room for the first time, they are amazed by its size, but even though it's huge, we've tried to keep it homely and warm .

Generally, what we've tried to do is to keep the design modern in the way of furniture, but warm and homely in terms of colour. In the living room, the sofas are white with colour added by the blue cushions and blue paintings, which were bought specifically for the barn. We wanted something that brought the room in a bit, as it's such a big space.

I had the Buddha, which I bought from Milan, in my previous home. I love it and it makes a great centrepiece to any room. In one corner is a huge white ball-chair with a red interior, which was bought for us as a wedding present. It was designed by Aarnio, and came from Selfridges' basement, which is one of my favourite shops, great for finding unusual pieces. It's a 1960s design that has been re-commissioned.

I've picked up quite a lot of pieces from Italy and on my travels, including materials and Venetian glass. But I really like the modern look. Quite a lot of the furniture is Italian, but I think that it looks less contemporary here than in some houses; the barn lessens its modernity. The pink sofas in the playroom are by Ligne Roset, the dining tables and chairs upstairs are from Eero Saarinen.

B&B Italia is one of my favourite furniture shops, and I have bought quite a lot of things, such as my Chesterfield sofa, from auctions in and around Oxford. I'm always amazed how good they are.

I also like the glitzy look. In one of the upstairs rooms, there's a yellow chaise longue covered in Versace material, which looks very glammed up.

There are big glass windows, which used to be barn doors, on either side of the living room, so there's a lot of light in the room and you look out on to the garden and nothing else, which is lovely. I have my work room downstairs, from where I can look out over the garden, when I'm working.

As I'm a producer, it's easy for me to do a lot of my work from home, such as pre-production and script editing. I try to work from home for a couple of days a week and spend the rest of the time in London. I also travel quite a bit. My office is quite a big room, and covered in pin boards. It's cosy but functional and it's got enough space not to feel cramped. And as we spend a lot of time in the kitchen, we've put a big family table in it so that the room doubles as a dining room.

Upstairs, there is a games room, above the kitchen. We've put in lots of lights there. It's got table football and a drum kit and we also go there to play poker. We have quite a lot of people to stay and there's always something here to keep them all occupied.

Opposite this room is the TV room. We have five bedrooms in the barn - two are downstairs and three upstairs - and we also have a self-contained annexe with a living room on the ground floor and spiral stairs up to an en-suite bedroom.

I've made one of the rooms between two of the upstairs bedrooms into a sitting room. It's really for friends' children when they come to stay. The furniture is in bright pinks and reds and there's a TV, Xbox and PlayStation. The kids can go upstairs and make as much noise as they like and we can't hear them at all, which is brilliant. I've decorated one of the bedrooms for a girl in yellows and pinks. And the boy's bedroom is in reds and blues.

I love bright colours, but the basic canvas throughout the house is white. It contrasts beautifully with all the beams, which are in almost every room.

Although we love the area and the house, we're finding we are in London more and more and seem to be spending most of our time on the motorway, so we're going to move back to London. The area is quiet and rural, but only 10 minutes from Oxford and seven to eight minutes from the M40, so it's easy to whiz up to London.

There's no shop in the hamlet, but we're lucky to have a nice local pub, The Mole Inn, which is walkable to; it also has great food.

Manor Barn in Toot Balden, Oxon, is for sale at £1.3m through Kemp & Kemp, 01865 510000

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